How To Get More Deep Sleep: Practical Tips To Implement
It goes without saying that sleep is essential for life. Like the water we drink and the oxygen we breathe, the body can only go so long without healthy restorative sleep before shutting down.
That said, if you’re clocking in the recommended seven to nine hours a night but still waking up feeling exhausted, there’s a pretty good chance it’s not the amount of sleep that’s causing you to feel this way, but the quality.
Deep sleep is what our bodies need so that we can wake up feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Without this crucial stage of sleep, many consequences follow.
Interested in learning more? Read on as we explore deep sleep and uncover the best practical tips to help you get more of it.
What Is Deep Sleep?
Simply put, deep sleep (aka slow-wave sleep or delta sleep) is when your brain waves slow down, and your body recovers from the day’s activities — injuries heal, human growth hormone is released, and metabolic waste is cleared from the brain through the lymphatic system. This happens at stages three and four of your sleep cycle, and despite what many people may think, REM sleep is not actually “deep sleep.”
During stages one and two of the sleep cycle, your body slows down and gets into a state of deep relaxation:
- Heartbeat slows
- Eye movements get slower
- Muscles relax
- Breathing rate decreases
- Body temperature drops
- Brain activity slows down
Stage one is relatively short, lasting only a few minutes, and the sleep is fairly light. Stage two is also a period of light sleep, but unlike stage one, this is where we spend most of our time during the sleep cycle.
Stage three and four of the sleep cycle is when you finally enter the coveted stage of deep sleep:
- Brain waves slow down even more
- Arm and leg muscles become paralyzed
- Eye movements stop completely
After these crucial stages, we enter REM sleep. Characterized by brain waves that are very similar to when we’re awake, REM sleep occurs roughly 90 minutes after you fall asleep.
When you hit the hay at night, you cycle through all of these sleep stages multiple times. While there’s no foolproof way to monitor short wave sleep at home, the best thing you can do to make sure you’re getting enough deep restorative sleep is allow yourself to get the recommended amount of uninterrupted shut-eye each night — this will help to ensure your body cycles through each stage of sleep five or six times.
Tips To Get More Deep Sleep
Though it’s recognized that deep sleep is essential to our quality of rest and it significantly impacts our health in more ways than one, it’s surprising that we have relatively very little information on how to enhance the amount of deep sleep we get.
If you’ve been feeling especially sluggish and groggy when you wake up in the morning, there are some practical tips you can implement that should help you to get more deep sleep.
Tip #1: Work Out Daily
It’s really no secret that getting in a solid workout is beneficial to sleep. Those who exercise during the day tend to drift off to sleep much faster than those who don’t work out at all.
Researchers also found that those who clock in at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly are twice as likely to get a good night’s sleep.
If you want to exercise to help improve your sleep, start by incorporating an early morning run into your routine. Studies have found morning runs benefit your natural sleep cycle by prompting you to start producing melatonin (i.e. your sleep hormone) earlier in the evening — just in time for bedtime!
Tip #2: Try CBD
If you struggle with sleep, CBD might be just what you need to summon the Sandman.
A naturally occurring compound that comes from the hemp plant, CBD will not get you “high” like its famous cousin, THC, but it can provide you with a ton of incredible benefits, like promoting good quality sleep.
There are many options on the market when it comes to CBD supplements, but the truth is that they are not all created equal or with the level of transparency you’d hope for.
That’s why we created our Sleep Drops here at Healist.
We’ve made our drops with a fast-acting, sleep-supporting blend of the highest-quality U.S. organically farmed CBD, paired with active levels of essential botanical oils and a custom sleep terpene blend to support a healthy sleep-wake cycle with absolutely no next-day grogginess.*
We strive to be transparent about every single ingredient that makes up our products, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
And the best part? There’s absolutely no THC.
To use our Sleep Drops, we recommend starting with a mild or medium dose of CBD placed directly under your tongue roughly 20 minutes before bedtime. Hold the oil there for 30 seconds before swallowing and see how you feel before taking more.
Tip #3: Avoid Caffeine in the Evening
Believe it or not, the effects of your late afternoon latte can last much longer than you might think. A natural stimulant, caffeine raises your heart rate and body temperature, which can make it very challenging to relax when the sun goes down.
Caffeine also disrupts a key signal in your brain — adenosine — that helps your body regulate your internal clocks. According to one recent study, researchers found that consuming caffeine even seven hours before bedtime reduced the amount of quality sleep received by a whopping 60 minutes.
Bottom line: Skip the caffeine after lunch and stick with water or herbal tea for the rest of the day.
Tip #4: Follow a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Simply put, go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Yes, that means on weekends, too.
When you don’t go to sleep and wake up at the same time, your body’s internal clock is forced to constantly reset itself. The result? Trouble falling asleep in the evening and difficulty waking up in the morning.
If that’s not enough to persuade you to follow a consistent sleep schedule, irregular sleep patterns have been linked to cardiometabolic disease, too.
Tip #5: Don’t Toss and Turn
If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes or so, get out of bed and leave your bedroom. Take a warm bubble bath, read a book, have some CBD, do some deep breathing or meditation exercises, or do any other calming activity until you start to feel sleepy.
Forcing yourself to sleep doesn’t work. Instead, it creates an association between laying in bed and not being able to fall asleep.
Tip #6: Listen To Pink Noise
Studies suggest that sound stimulation can do wonders to promote good quality sleep, and that pink noise (seemingly random noise with a lower frequency than white noise) improves your deep sleep state.
More research is needed on the effects of pink noise on sleep, but from what we can see so far, the future's looking bright and we’ll take the help we can get!
A Final Word
Deep sleep is important, and without it, you may wake up feeling sore, sluggish, and in a haze. You may experience difficulties trying to focus or concentrate during the day, and sooner or later, brain fog is sure to follow suit.
Thankfully, Healist is here to help.
Here at Healist, we’re driven by our core belief in the body’s innate capacity to heal itself. You see, we don’t set out to “cure” or “fix” by numbing or blocking what’s perfectly natural. Instead, we see well-being as a daily practice to cultivate and create innovative solutions to work with these incredible processes and restore balance when life ultimately interrupts.
If you’re struggling with sleep, take charge of your wellness and give some of our practical tips a try and see if they help. And remember, consistency is key!
Whether you decide to give our CBD Sleep Drops a try or you just begin to reduce your caffeine intake after lunch, stick to a routine for a few weeks before throwing in the towel to try something else.
Check us out today and get better sleep tomorrow.